This FAQ 15 advises on ‘Unplanned Last Minute’ issues, FAQ 71 advises on ‘Human Error’ issues, the client must read both FAQ’s as part of the Terms and Conditions of hire.
OVERVIEW – Vehicles are machines, and as we all know could let us down at the most inopportune moment or can be held up in traffic congestion, a fact of life in today’s modern world, indeed any unexpected issue that arises at the last minute could create a problem and although vehicle owners will do their very best to rectify the situation when time permits it may not always be possible especially at short notice where timings are critical. As your wedding day is such a very special occasion we would strongly advise that you also plan ahead and have your own back-up plan to put into action in event of ‘last minute’ problems that are unable to be rectified by the vehicle owner or driver in the time permitting, although of course it probably will never be needed it is still better to have an additional back-up plan, just in case.
BREATHING SPACE – On our part at Premier Carriage we automatically build in a 15 minute safety margin into all itineraries at the start of the hire, the vehicle therefore should arrive at the collection address 15 minutes before the first planned departure. The client may extend this to a 30 minute safety margin at the start of the hire if they so wish in order to relieve possible anxiety however this may reflect on the end of hire time being slightly earlier, unless the client extends the hire time.
LATE ARRIVAL – The vehicle is planned to arrive at the collection address on schedule, however if running late due to unforeseen traffic or other problems en-route there is the comfort of a 15 minute safety margin before the planned departure. However, in the unlikely event the car has not arrived at your collection address by the chauffeur’s arrival time shown on your itinerary do not wait the 15 minutes, time is crucial so now is the time to telephone the chauffeur and/or vehicle owner’s numbers directly, these are shown in ‘red print’ on your itinerary so have a copy at the collection address with you but please remember contact with the chauffeur on the day is by mobile phone and subject to signal reception and mobile phone driving laws. Vehicle owners/chauffeurs will have been given your contact numbers so if you have only advised of a mobile number for the collection address and not a landline, ensure the mobile is switched on and is able to receive calls. Where possible keep lines free until the car has arrived in case the chauffeur needs to contact you.
BACK UP PLAN – Since 1996 we have gained a wealth of experience in wedding transportation so would like to offer some valuable advice, although your chauffeur/vehicle owner will have their own plans to deal with problems every situation is different and some may not be recoverable at short notice, so as timings are critical and for your own peace of mind we would advise you nominate a friend, neighbour or a wedding guest [who perhaps has a nice car] to be your rescue vehicle in the event of a ‘last minute’ problem and who will be prepared to collect you at short notice. They will need to remain contactable by phone until they know the Bride has arrived safely at the ceremony venue. The object is to get the Bride, and Bridesmaids if using the same car, to the venue as soon as possible as any delay to the start of the ceremony could have a knock-on effect throughout the day, even a local taxi company may not be able to provide a car as quickly as your nominated friend or neighbour who has been pre-notified and briefed. The best option for your rescue vehicle would be to nominate someone who is closest to your collection address as this will ensure the minimum delay to your departure and therefore the minimum delay to your arrival at the ceremony as this will be the tightest part of your schedule to maintain.
YOUR DECISION – The vehicle owner and/or driver will do their very best to try to rectify the situation and they will base their actions on the particular circumstances on the day as every situation will be different however if it means using a replacement car this vehicle may be based some distance from where your original vehicle has encountered it’s problem or where your collection address is and therefore may take some time to arrive so you will then need to decide whether to wait for the replacement car and possibly arrive at the ceremony later than scheduled, or put your own back-up plan into action and alert your pre-notified friend/neighbour. In the interim after the Bride is finally on her way the replacement vehicle [if available] or the original vehicle [if the problem has been rectified] can then proceed to the ceremony venue so it will be waiting for the Bride & Groom’s onward journey to the reception. If the original car or it’s replacement has not arrived by the time the ceremony is completed we would then suggest you advise the best man to contact your own rescue vehicle and arrange for it to collect the Bride & Groom, as if the hired vehicle is not there by this time then it is probable something occurred that could not be rectified in time and/or that prevented contact being made. As timing is not quite as crucial after the ceremony, we advise before you contact your rescue vehicle you try phoning the chauffeurs mobile number for an update of the situation as understandably the chauffeur would not have been able to call you while the ceremony was taking place, and the ability to send text messages is not always a skill mastered by all.
CHAUFFEUR – Traffic congestion is out of everyone’s control and breakdowns thankfully are very rare, but we must not forget that vehicles are simply machines, and although a breakdown is not caused by the vehicle owner/chauffeur it is understandable in such a situation to vent frustration on the poor old chauffeur so it would be a kindly gesture to remember in the unlikely event of a breakdown your chauffeur will be just as distressed as yourself while also trying to remedy the situation for you to the best of their ability and under very tight time schedules.
SYNOPSIS – On the positive side, 99% of weddings go exactly according to schedule so we are more than confident yours will also, but to have your own back-up plan prepared beforehand is not only a sensible precaution but will also help reduce the anxiety and stress should the unthinkable happen when there is little time to spare.
CLIENTS MUST DO THE FOLLOWING – as per the Terms and Conditions of Hire
Client Must Read This Website’s FAQ Section Q71, and this FAQ Q15
Client Must Phone Vehicle Owner/s Direct, 14 Days Before the Wedding Day.
Premier Carriage is a forward thinking company and wants your day to be memorable for all the right reasons, we have provided sensible advice and have put safeguards in place based upon a wealth of experience. We therefore STRONGLY advise you follow these important requirements above and contact the Wedding Car Company and/or Private Independent Vehicle Owner who will actually be providing the service for you on the wedding day, you can then relax and enjoy the time remaining to your wedding knowing that both yourself and Premier Carriage have done everything possible to ensure your special day runs smoothly.
You may also wish to look at FAQ 46 with regard to ‘Wedding Insurance’ to protect your outlay. We recommend clients consider wedding insurance for their own peace of mind.